An Advent Reflection From 2001 – Enjoy!
Well, it’s getting serious now, isn’t it? Frantically we check things off our many lists and pray that we haven’t forgotten anything! Any “free” time that we thought we would have is slowly being eaten up by activities, programs and life in general. How does this happen to us every year? I know I start early but now it’s “crunch time” and I have so many things that I want to do before Christmas! If you are feeling pretty much the same way, take a few minutes to read the writing below. It’s one of my favorites and I wrote it back in 2001. Now, mid-week in this last week of Advent, I hope to take a few minutes to enjoy it!
By Cathy Goretsky
What was it like, tiny Baby, to lie there in the straw? Could you feel the warm breath of the animals as they came close to see what sort of small whimpering creature had joined their midst? Even though the place was cold and dirty, your mother had your swaddling clothes all packed and ready to wrap around you the moment you were born! Aren’t mothers like that? Always prepared for whatever might happen! And Your mother wasn’t very old; probably still a teen-ager. She must have wished that her own mother was there to help her though the birthing process. Still, Joseph, the strong rugged carpenter, dependable even at a time like this, helped and comforted Mary. So, there you were – the three of you. We call you “The Holy Family” now, but in that time, so long ago, you were just a young couple with a new baby; a little family in a strange city crowded with many people.
How old were you, precious Child, when the Kings came to visit? Were you old enough so that you remembered their unusual visit as You got older? Did Mary and Joseph save the treasure chest of gold for you? Did you keep the special box in Your room with Your other treasures like most little boys do? I wonder if maybe You used it to buy things for other people as You got older and learned of a neighbor who was in need. That would be something You would do! Did Joseph teach you how to make little toy boats? Maybe You would sail them together in the puddles that formed after a rainstorm. Did you ever imagine that a hammer and nails would bring You unbearable pain one day? We, these many years later, know about those spikes, and they cause us pain when we think of what You suffered for us.
Tiny Baby, gentle Young Man, we know nothing of Your life as You grew strong and wise in the ways of Your Father. One day maybe You will tell us about what it was like to study in the Temple and what fun it was to play games with the other children in the village, and maybe even what Your favorite things to eat were. What did Mary cook when she wanted to fix Your favorite meal? Did she teach You to count by counting out juicy red grapes for you to eat?…… “Here, Jesus, here are ten grapes… one, two, three, four….” And did You ever spill a cup of goat’s milk on the floor? When You looked up to count the stars in the night sky, did You have even a fleeting memory of creating those twinkling lights in the blackness?
You created us so You know how curious we are to know these things, yet You have allowed so much to remain a mystery. Is the reason so that we would think and wonder about You? Are You smiling even now as I write this, thinking what fun it will be to answer all of my questions one day? That seems like something You would do!
Tiny Baby, soft and sweet, held close to Your mother’s breast, You know that we all desire love, warmth, security and safety. Don’t let us stray far from Your side, so that we can learn how to provide those things for one another. Teach us, Tiny Baby. Teach us to be like You. And never let us stop wondering about You, Lord.